Our Hardest Floor Gets Glamourous

December 8, 2011 in Bamboo Flooring

There are six color offerings for Stiletto Strand Bamboo Flooring listed from left to right: Brushed Havana, Brushed Sahara, Cerused Eclipse, Cerused Espresso, Cerused Pearl, and Cerused Taupe.

Your boots were made for walking all over our Stiletto strand bamboo floors.  Stiletto is as fashion forward as you are, and it’s just as tough. Its timelessness, however, doesn’t end with its attractiveness. Stiletto is built to stand up to whatever you put down.

The need to design a bamboo floor that shattered the stereotypes has arrived.  Being strong wasn’t enough, this new floor had to be striking.  On one hot New York City day, Stiletto was born.  This floor takes bamboo flooring to the next level with its color, texture and style.

Stiletto is a 100% bamboo floor made using strand technology.  It’s more than 2 times the hardness of red oak.  Don’t let Stiletto’s luxuriousness fool you. It’s urea formaldehyde-free for better indoor air quality

Product Attributes:

  • Strand bamboo composite flooring
  • 7 Coat Poly and Seal Finish
  • No added urea formaldehyde resin system
  • Dimensions: 9/16” x 5” x 72”
  • Weight: 70lbs/box
  • Strength: 3500 psi
  • Passes CA Section 01350 Emissions Standards
  • See CSI for ASTM Test Results
  • Visit www.plyboo.com for warranty details

Good things come in pairs.  Combine Stiletto with an underlayment system to fit your installation needs.

Stiletto is commercial grade flooring, ideal for your business. Stiletto flooring is the toughest around. When this tough as nails floor is paired with PlybooFit for Retail underlayment system, incredible things happen. The system’s ¼” recycled rubber pad absorbs shock which will give your employees relief when in long-standing situations. Stiletto paired with PlybooFit for Retail subfloor system is a popular choice in salons, cafes, and retail establishments.

Living in a condo or shared space? Stiletto is for you.
Stiletto flooring is twice as strong as your old floor, and 5 times as stylish. Whether you like entertaining guests, have a family, or pets, Stiletto can stand up to whatever you toss at it. In multi-family living situations, we suggest pairing Stiletto with PlybooQuiet, an acoustic reduction subfloor system. PlybooQuiet absorbs the pitter patter of not so little feet, and all the knocks of your busy life.

 

How to avoid denting your bamboo floor

October 25, 2011 in Bamboo Flooring, Maintenance Series

If you have kids, dogs, a kitchen, or an active lifestyle, then you may have experience with how well high activity melds with flooring surfaces… NOT VERY!  However, don’t despair; there’s no need to wait patiently on those empty nest days to save your floor. With a few considerations, your floor can be well maintained for years to come.

If you’re building new or remodeling, there are so many options to consider when bamboo floor shopping.  Is bamboo flooring “green?” How hard is bamboo flooring? Is bamboo flooring sustainable? The most important question however may be: Which bamboo floor is right for me?  Honestly answering this question could save you lots of time and extend the useful life of your flooring choice.

Situation 1: The neighborhood coffee shop

The neighborhood coffee shop is pretty popular. There are several regular and new customers coming in and out daily. Since it’s a business, it’s unlikely they’ll leave their shoes at the door, so dirt and grit gets regularly tracked in.  The best flooring choice in this higher traffic situation would be a strand bamboo floor, such as PlybooStrand or Havana or Neopolitan.

Adding a PlybooFit or PlybooQuiet underlayment pad system could help absorb some of the impact of dropped items as well as the tired feeling from standing on a hard surface all day.  Instituting a regular cleaning schedule would be appropriate for this situation and will add life to the product and prevent additional scratching and indentation from hard debris left on the surface.

Situation 2: The Nuclear Family

Throw two hard-working adults, a kid or two and a dog and you’ve got one floor that had better deliver.  This is a situation ripe for a darker tone strand bamboo floor with great durability.

In the kitchen, simply putting a mat down by the oven and by the sink would spare these “drop zones” from the constant pummeling of dropped kitchenware. Also, putting a mat near the entrance would lesson the likelihood of scratching from accumulated debris from outdoors.

For families with an upstairs, installing a padded underlayment, like PlybooFit or PlybooQuiet will lessen the noise of tender feet over head.

Situation 3: The Quiet Couple

If there is only one or two adults living in a residence, without children, pets, or a constant barrage of guests, then most flooring choices will would be ideal. Limiting the use of shoes indoors and a regular cleaning regiment will help things stay looking good and performing well.

Of course, using the same precautions as the nuclear family, plan for the worst, hope for the best, for both the kitchen and entryways, is the best plan for your well loved and hard-working friend-under-foot, your floor.

Image: photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Plyboo Bamboo Sport Flooring

August 12, 2011 in Bamboo Flooring, Installations

Get to know Plyboo Bamboo Sport Flooring with this informative video!

 

Interview with Kari Whitman

August 5, 2011 in Interview

Smith & Fong Co. did an exclusive interview with celebrity interior designer, Kari Whitman. In the interview, she outlines tips, tricks, and inspiration to incorporate her design aesthetic into you daily life.  To learn more about Kari, visit her website at: www.kariwhitmaninteriors.com.

Smith & Fong Co.: I read that you were an early adapter to environmentally focused interior design. What got you interested in this? When did you know you wanted to be a designer?

Kari Whitman: I’m from Bolder Colorado, a Tree Hugger Hippie, there’s no other way to be. I’ve never NOT been green. To recycle and reuse, even for a modern sleek home, I find pieces to redo, mix old with new, to find more personality in diversity. Older products are typically made with better ethics and better quality materials. I bring things down to the wood frame and re cover them.

SF: I first became acquainted with your work after seeing what you did with the home of Jessica Alba. Was she initially interested in green design or is it something you were able to explore together?

KW: She hired me because of my green knowledge. She understands sustainability and she will do everything she can to be non toxic. Jessica knows the value of creating a healthy home and worked with me to promote her standards through a designer’s aesthetic.

SF: What were the aims in the Alba home? Indoor Air Quality? Using rapidly renewable materials. What were the two of you going after when you collaborated on her home?

KW: Mold testing is a standard for about 65% of the homes, especially for a baby’s room. There are many issues about vocs (volatile organic compounds). So everything down to cleaning supplies was an issue. No quick fixes using chemicals. For maintenance, we used a combination of hemp oil, vegetable oil, and a splash of tea tree — wipe and clean everything, even on wood floors, they look great.

SF: I read in an interview not too long ago where you mentioned our Durapalm product (thanks by the way!) What drew you to it initially and what made you feel it was a product worthy of recommending by name?

KW: Plyboo is easy to work with as a company, has the most variation with different dimensions, and a large variety of products. I’m obsessed with Durapalm and it’s many ways of being used, along with coconut palm products having so many textures and tones. I love all the different grains. It is a sleek, yet gives an organic feel, but it can also look modern. Because it has a sleek look, I love to add metals to create a balance and harmony.

SF: Which projects did you use our products in? Do any come to mind? I am currently working on an estate, in Texas. We are creating furniture pieces with Plyboo, and possibly incorporating flooring. We might even use some of the materials to create an indoor and an outdoor look. In Aspen, with Tony Banderas’ house, I am using Plyboo to modernize a very rustic cabin to have a better balanced feeling.

KW: What challenges do you face when suggesting ecologically friendly building materials to homeowners? Challenges with manufacturers are finding those who are actually green and meet high sustainable standards. I want to use smaller companies, who are passionate. I do a background check to make certain they live up to what they say. Also getting a client to understand that green products can be sleek and modern.

SF: I see that you have a pretty large influence in green design, and you’re covered quite heavily in popular magazines. What advice would you have for a homeowner interested in making more environmentally sound design decisions — improving indoor air quality for instance? What advice do you have for renters?

KW: Find pieces of furniture, which are timeless. Also refurbish, reuse and give another life to a product. Take a chair and gut it. Perhaps use a beautiful royal blue fabric with cream piping. You can after five years take that same chair and use a silver grey fabric with nail heads and create an entirely different look. There are fantastic green no voc paints. I like AFM Safecoat. Take a few of their vibrant colors, add some lighting at lamps plus (a store known for green products, kooky and funky with a bit of hollywood glam). Find a few pieces of lighting, add some timeless pieces of furniture, use a Plyboo woven palm panel in a key place, and you have great design. It does not have to put you into debt to make your space sleek and well designed.

SF: Which eco-focused media do you follow? Any blogs in particular?

KW: I read the Bolder Magazine, Bolder Daily Camera, my home town is so profound they seem to be one step in front of everyone else. They even started their own sustainable place, Boulder Sustainability Network. CU has an education center which is tremendous. Dwell is great for ideas. Also Solar Row, reading from my roots, listen to lectures from CU sustainability project.

SF: Do you feel it’s difficult to transition into running a sustainable household?

KW: Not at all. Once you take steps, starting with cleaning solutions, fabrics, carpets — they all add up to a better organic aesthetic. You can feel the healthy environment. it becomes evident!

SF: I noticed that you’ve also done commercial design, and even have extended your brand to designing pet spaces. Is there any one area you feel people should really reconsider impact on their immediate environment when making their design to-do lists?

KW: Design with Paws in Mind, my book, is in the works. Pets and children, should use durable, non-toxic products. Chemicals and petroleum based products interact with pets and kids. I recommend when working with Don Henley when they were expecting their child, to look at all household cleaners. We also made certain that no carpet or other materials on the floors were going to be toxic. As we researched chemicals used in carpet I became more ware of how unhealthy carpet can be with all the added chemicals for stain resistance and simple binders they use for backing. Kids and pets are so interactive with materials that we focused on natural organic flooring and coverings. Also, take a look at Greener Pup Dog Beds. Remember use natural products, meaning few chemically developed fragrances and harsh solutions. The more simple it is the better.

SF: What would you like to see happen with the future of interior design?

KW: I’d like to see mandatory laws to really guide. I’d also like for sustainability not be a trend but a reality, from fad to a way of life. We should figure out a way for really green companies to be noticed and validated and be successful.

The views expressed are those of the interviewee and may not necessarily reflect the views and policies of Smith & Fong Co.

How to Clean and Maintain Your Bamboo Floor

June 16, 2011 in Maintenance Series

In our last Maintenance Series, we discussed how to avoid cupping. One of the mentioned ways was to avoid wet mopping the floor, which of course leads to the question: How do I clean and maintain my bamboo floor?

First, if you have a prefinished floor, be sure to follow the maintenance instructions included with your installation and warranty paperwork. Be warned, if you do not follow the instructions to the letter, you risk voiding the manufacturer’s warranty! If you have an unfinished floor, follow the instructions from the floor finish manufacturer. If you don’t know whether or not the floor was purchased prefinshed or unfinished, or even who the manufacturer is, then keep reading. This article will outline several alternatives given a few general guidelines.

Nip it in the bud!
Spills on the floor, tracked in dirt, food debris – clean it up immediately! Dirt and debris on the floor can cause scratching. Regular sweeping or vacuuming is highly recommended. If there is a wet or sticky spill, wipe it up when it happens. Hard-to-remove spots can be removed with a damp (not wet) cloth and a little elbow grease. Of course, follow with a dry cloth if there’s any remaining moisture or with cleaning product. You can use a generic wood floor cleaner directly on the stain.

Bust the dust
Using a dust mop, dry Swiffer or a similar dry cloth product, can work wonders at keeping your floor in tip-top shape. If using a dust mop, use an untreated mop. Water-based or petroleum-based treated mops are never recommended. Don’t use spray dust cleaners. Spray cleaners can have incompatible chemicals or oils that can leave a film on your floor. Also, they tend to dull the sheen of the floor and even make recoating difficult if not impossible!

Leave it at the door
Using a mat at the door is a great way to keep from tracking dirt onto your floor. Also, check that the taps on your shoes and high heels are well maintained to avoid scratching or impressions on the floor.

Cover up
Have you been eyeing a fancy imported rug? Well consider protecting your floor a good reason to invest. Using area rugs, throws, and floor protectors on furniture prevent scratching and help protect your floor from surface damage.

Get a system
Find a non-harmful cleaning routine. As previously mentioned, wet mopping is not recommended. You should also avoid using ammonia and products with ammonia on it’s ingredients list. Sweeping, cleaning, and polishing, is a possibility. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. Although this isn’t a direct endorsement, products by Bona tend to work well on Smith&Fong flooring. There are some natural products on the market, but check with your manufacturer first to see if it will work with their product. For example, some oil based cleaners work on wood, but are horrible on surfaces with a polyurethane finish. In lay-person’s language: ask first because flooring is not created equal and each can respond differently to the same product.

Recoat? Call in a pro
Your floor’s original shine will eventually fade, even with proper maintenance. This is natural and to be expected. You will need to recoat your floor periodically to revive it’s luster. It’s a good idea to call in a flooring professional to help with this.

Photo credit:
Image: Suat Eman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net